Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Treatment of OCD using CBT starts with a comprehensive assessment of the key features of the problem. This involves identifying typical situations in which problems occur, and then clarifying the nature of the person’s thoughts and obsessions, their emotions, physical sensations, and the actions taken in an effort to resolve unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
It can be helpful to draw up a list of rituals that the individual carries out, and also situations that are avoided due to the OCD. This can provide a valuable insight into the impact of the problems caused by the OCD, and can then be used as a set of targets that can be worked towards within therapy, in a manageable, step by step approach.
Practising new strategies in typical problem situations, rather than responding by carrying out acts to get rid of anxiety immediately, allows the opportunity to discover whether fears driving the anxiety are well-founded, or whether they have actually become exaggerated and distorted.
Clearly, addressing OCD requires commitment and courage. However, steps taken to tackle this will be decided collaboratively in therapy sessions, and will be approached in a gradual, step by step manner in an attempt to ensure that this distressing problem is dealt with as effectively as possible.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common anxiety disorder that affects up to approximately 2% of the population. It is characterised by repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions). The individual may therefore experience a reoccurring thought that causes anxiety and consequently feel compelled to act in response to this, to get rid of the anxiety as quickly as possible.
Most common types of OCD are:
The thoughts and actions involved in OCD can become so time consuming and distressing that the person may struggle to manage usual day to day activities, work and family life. The effort required to manage the problem may become exhausting and demoralising, leading to further anxiety and depression.
Fortunately, OCD generally responds well to treatment. CBT is listed within the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidelines for OCD (2006) as the psychological treatment of choice for this problem.
Conditions We Treat
Amanda FarrPostgraduate Diploma (Cognitive Therapy), Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, State Registered Occupational Therapist... Read More